Former ‘Dirty Jobs’ star to promote tech ed in South Dakota

May 24, 2018

Mike Rowe, former star of TV’s “Dirty Jobs” and founder of the MikeRoweWorksFoundation, is coming to South Dakota to promote technical education and its role in addressing the state’s skilled labor shortage.

On Sept. 20, Rowe will speak with students and tour technical schools in Watertown and Sioux Falls and the Career and Technical Education Academy in Sioux Falls. He will end the day as the keynote speaker at Junior Achievement’s 50th anniversary banquet.

“We have the same goal (as Rowe’s foundation) — training people to meet the ever-increasing demand for skilled labor,” Dana Dykhouse, president of the Build Dakota Scholarship board of directors and CEO of First Premier Bank.

MikeRoweWorksFoundation works to help close the skills gap by highlighting millions of vocational opportunities that people often overlook. It challenges myths and misperceptions about those jobs and offers financial assistance to students.

Build Dakota pays the tuition and fees for qualified students entering high-need workforce training programs at South Dakota’s technical institutes. In return, recipients agree to work in a high-needs field in the state for three years.

“Mike Rowe’s appearance is also our opportunity to reach out to more business and community leaders to create awareness of the opportunities in South Dakota,” Dykhouse said.

Currently, 180 private sector partners support the scholarship program, and additional donations will be needed to keep helping students, he said.

Build Dakota programs at Lake Area Technical Institute and Southeast Technical Institute are running at capacity, and the schools are pursing or exploring expansion plans to meet the demand. The program started in 2014, and the first graduates are now in the second year of their work commitments.

Rowe’s appearance is sponsored by First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard.

Former ‘Dirty Jobs’ star to promote tech ed in South Dakota

Mike Rowe, former star of TV’s “Dirty Jobs” and founder of the MikeRoweWorksFoundation, is coming to South Dakota to promote technical education and its role in addressing the state’s skilled labor shortage.

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